People living in the Las Vegas flood tunnels

I've read about people living in the tunnels under Paris, but didn't know that Las Vegas also has an underground population.

You'd think that with the collapse of the Las Vegas housing market people could afford rentals again, but without a job even low rents are not affordable for people who make a living looking for credits on slot machines.

For interviews with tunnel residents and pics of their "apartments" check the UK Sun article Lost Vegas

Local writer Matthew O'Brien, who has had a book published about the tunnel people, called Beneath The Neon, has been working with Steven and others to help get people housed. He recently founded the Shine A Light foundation to aid them.

He explains: "I guide social workers into the tunnels, show them the terrain and introduce them to people.

"They offer these people services like health and drug counselling.

"We have got 12 to 15 people into houses in the last six months.

"But a lot of the people are very resistant to help. Many don't want to give up their addictions.

"They like their freedom and that no one is telling them what to do.

"They are scared of what's out there.

"To come out of the tunnel and face the world is intimidating for some of the people. Some are very much entrenched down in that tunnel and comfortable. That's why the charity doesn't like to give out too much food, water and clothing.

"We don't want them to get too comfortable because it is really an illusion. It can be extremely dangerous.

"It doesn't rain much in Nevada but when it does the tunnels can fill very quickly. There have been 20 drownings in the last 20 years and a lot of those were people who were living in the tunnels.

I can't blame people for not wanting to face the world -- especially in Vegas.